People Have Been Complaining About The Youth For All Of Human History
It's not hard to find people with harsh words to say about millennials and Gen Z. If Twitter and cable news networks are to be believed, kids spend their days ruining industries, taking selfies, and sharing millennial memes instead of doing hard work. One thing these millennial critics often have in common: They're old.
However, this type of criticism isn't unique to the 21st century. It turns out that complaining about younger generations is truly timeless. Going back to the Greek philosophers, adults have had low opinions of the youth, and we have the quotes to prove it. From ancient Greeks to Victorian writers to modern-day pundits, these quotes show how older generations have complained about the loose morals and laziness of every generation (including yours). While some of the claims border on ridiculous (like chess sending kids on a downward spiral), others make valid points. Some are clearly the work of bitter thinkers, and others come from a place of genuine concern.
Regardless, the intent is consistent. The older generations have had problems with those darn kids for millennia.
- Photo: user uploaded image152 VOTES
"We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last… it is quite sufficient to cast one's eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressor on the bodies in their dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females."
- Photo: user uploaded image250 VOTES
"The bad manners of all parliaments, the general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz and Negro dances as the spiritual outlet in all circles of society, women painted like prostitutes... all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone."
- Photo: user uploaded image347 VOTES
"The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge."
- Photo: user uploaded image445 VOTES
"A pernicious excitement to learn and play chess has spread all over the country, and numerous clubs for practicing this game have been formed in cities and villages... chess is a mere amusement of a very inferior character, which robs the mind of valuable time that might be devoted to nobler acquirements, while it affords no benefit whatever to the body."
- Photo: user uploaded image528 VOTES
"Never has youth been exposed to such dangers of both perversion and arrest as in our own land and day. Increasing urban life with its temptations, prematurities, sedentary occupations... all these lack some of the regulatives they still have in older lands with more conservative conditions."
- Photo: user uploaded image632 VOTES
"...a fearful multitude of untutored savages... lads between 17 and 19 with dogs at their heels and other evidence of dissolute habits... the bank-girls drive coal-carts, ride astride upon horses, drink, swear, fight, smoke, whistle, and care for nobody."